Gibley Finds: Poetry

It takes a special kind of talent to write humour into poetry. There’s the obvious limerick method, which can still produce a chuckle (even if we have heard most of them!), but we all know when the punchline rolls in. The last line delivers, you see it coming and that’s about it. Humour, arguably, works best when it’s not expected and whilst it seems easy to throw something random into the mix to spice up the writing, it takes skill to make it relevant and clever.

Today’s feature, To Be Opened After My Passing, does humour right. It takes you by surprise: it delivers when you least expect it. Of course, it’s not all about whether you laugh or not but also whether you can relate to the poem. We’ve all doubted ourselves at some point, and most of us have felt insecure about something we’ve done, or something about ourselves. This piece details our everyday concerns we can all understand in a light manner we can all laugh with.

William Godbey kindly let us share his poem with our followers and it’s brilliant. It tells a story in a clear conversational style and tackles the theme of death in a fresh perspective. It’s not over the top nor too subtle in its tone and voice, and the progression, from the doctor declaring the death to being displayed in a glass cabinet for all to see, really cements how this person carried insecurity into the after life.


To Be Opened After My Passing

To the lead doctor
who will declare me deceased.
Please keep this in mind:
I keep mints in my pocket,
pop one in if my mouth smells.

To the mortician
who has to examine me.
I want you to know
I thought my Chinese tattoo
meant, “brave.” Turns out it meant, “toad.”

To the pallbearers
who must carry my coffin.
Don’t look inside it.
My tie might not match my suit.
I would never live that down.

when you dig up my body.
I’d just like to say,
if my bones seem heavy, it’s
not me. The grave adds ten pounds.

To the janitor
who will clean my display case.
Some words of advice:
Dying is a big mistake.
Everybody judges you!

For more brilliant poetry we’ve featured, please explore our Gibley Finds page.

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